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By Martin Anderson

In the first few months of its release Aldila’s new shaft, the VooDoo, has been a roaring success by any standards.  Not only was it almost immediately in the winner’s circle but was also found in a number of Ryder Cuppers bags and also in the bag of Harrison Frazar for his recent victory at Q school, including his sensational 59.

The NV, DVS and VS Proto shafts are amongst the most played shafts at todays events but somehow they seem to be seen as ‘blue collar’ shafts rather than the high performance Tour pedigree shafts that they really are. Aldila are looking to change this perception with the VooDoo.

The level of success in this shaft has probably surpised even Aldila. Early take-up on Tour was much higher than they could have expected, the VooDoo got its first victory almost immediately and the year culminated in Aldila being the the leading wood shaft and hybrid shaft manufacturer at all 4 of the 2008 Fedex Cup play-offs: The Barclays (including 36 VooDoo’s from 144 players), Deutcher Bank Championsip (also with 36 VooDoo’s from from 144 players), The BMW Championship (including 21 VooDoo’s from 70 players) and The Tour Championship (including 7 VooDoo’s from 30 players).

So what is it about the VooDoo that makes it so different from the standard Aldila shafts? The additions of Aldila’s S-Core is their entry into shaft stabilization and anti-ovalling technology seen in Triax from Fujikura (basis of the RE*AX and ROMBAX shafts) and Smart-Ply from Grafalloy.

The drive towards these technologies comes from research that found that by increasing the hoop stiffness, the shaft will not ovalize or deform during the golf swing so maximum energy is transferred to the ball. As the shaft loads, the energy is stored along the length of the shaft rather than wasted in deforming the shape of the shaft. The efficient storage of energy also allows for more efficient release. Releasing more energy means that not only is distance is maximized but that the player is able to more consistently deliver the club-head to the ball resulting in increased accuracy.

Cut-away of the S-Core  – an internal spiral rub of high modulus Carbon

Currently the S-Core technology has only been applied to the VS Proto bend profile although Tour only versions of the VooDoo exist for almost the entire Aldila family. While Aldila tell us that there are currently no plans to release the VooDoo versions of the NV and DVS, this must surely be dependent on the success of the VS Proto version.

Appearance

The dark red on black spiral color scheme (a reminder of the S-Core technology) is quite understated as it is darker than it appears in photos. While it may not be as camera friendly as the lizard green NV or the bright blue VS Proto it still makes a statement as it is unlike anything else out on the market.

Technical Specs

Type Tip Diameter Butt Diameter Torque Launch Angle Weight Length
XVS6 0.335″ 0.630″ 3.2 Mid 68g 46″
SVS6 0.335″ 0.630″ 3.5 Mid 66g 46″
RVS6 0.335″ 0.630″ 4.2 Mid 65g 46″
XVS7 0.335″ 0.630″ 2.8 Mid 76g 46″
SVS7 0.335″ 0.630″ 3.2 Mid 75g 46″
RVS7 0.335″ 0.630″ 3.9 Mid 74g 46″

Feel

Aldila’s best feeling shaft yet. This shaft is a quantum leap better than the previous generation of Aldila shafts, which while they were no slouches were never going to be troubling the likes of Matrix, Mitsubishi Rayon or Fujikura for the smoothest shaft award. The likes of the NV and the VS Proto were always far better known for their performance rather than their feel.The VooDoo is completely different however as with the VS6 version you can practically feel every dimple on the ball as you crush it down the fairway. And while the VS7 version is stouter than its lighter brother it still feels superb. The weight and balance is very good and when the shaft kicks through it lacks the vagueness that somewhat affected the VS Proto while still being just as lively. At impact you get a real sense that the whole shaft is unloading, irrespective of whether you are a swinger or a hitter as the shaft feels very stable throughout the swing.

It’s worth noting that, in typical Aldila fashion, this shaft tapers quite sharply from the butt end so an extra layer or two of  tape under the bottom half of the grip might be needed to keep that connection with the lower hand.

Performance

Everything about the performance of the VS Proto that was good is still here but the R&D boys at Aldila seem to have dug out something extra. While the S-Core has a noticeable effect of tightening up the feel, it also seems to have a similarly noticeable effect on the performance. While the trajectory of the VooDoo is almost identical to the VS Proto, the VooDoo does seem to be able to unload at impact more effectively which utimately leads to longer drives. Nothing ridiculous here, no magical extra 15 yards that some people seem to expect but another little bit of assistance towards carrying those bunkers, flying that water or driving that green.

The shafts play straight to flex with just the right balance of spin – enough to keep the ball soaring but not so much that the ball can be blown about or will not bound down the fairway on landing. While versatile might be an odd description for a shaft, the VooDoo can be used by both those with smooth swings and those with a more aggressive transition. The shaft is easy enough to use without having to swing out of your shoes but is also great at higher speeds as it is incredibly resistant to being overpowered. There is a real sense of increasingly progressive loading as you swing harder, so the harder you load it, the harder it will fight back without losing any of that feel.

The VS6 version weighs in at almost 70g at stiffer flexes so it should be considered first for a driver shaft and unless you are a monster, the VS7 version is best left for fairway woods as while the specs say that it shares the same launch angle as the VS6, the heavier weight and lower torque mean that it does launch lower and with a bit less spin.

Overall

A short period of testing shows you why the VooDoo is being so successful on Tour – a longer period leaves you in no doubt that the VooDoo will no only been seen in a lot of bags on Tour but also been seen in a lot of winner’s bags. A great combination of feel and performance that should be considered for any driver setup.

Aldila have always known how to make high performance shafts and their commitment to top end shafts, while initially shown with the semi-mythical Cinnamon, has been firmly cemented with the VooDoo.

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Morning 9: Mickelson dials up pre-Match chatter | Korda sisters land GD cover | Augenstein on going pro

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By Ben Alberstadt
Email me at [email protected]; and find me on Twitter and Instagram.
November 24, 2020
Good Monday morning, golf fans. May you enjoy your Thursday feasting and giving of thanks and Friday shopping! I will see you all next Monday.
1. Augenstein energized
Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine…”Augenstein went on to reach the semifinals of the U.S. Junior Amateur that summer. He later signed with the Commodores and made an instant impact as a freshman, winning two extra-hole matches to lead Vanderbilt to its first SEC title in 2017. The one they call “Flash” – or, as this writer has coined, “Johnny Golf” – continued to establish himself as one of the preeminent match-play competitors in amateur golf, going 8-1 in the format between conference and nationals while also finishing runner-up at the 2019 U.S. Amateur and scoring the winning point for last year’s U.S. Walker Cup team at Royal Liverpool. Last spring as a senior, he was named SEC Player of the Year and an All-American for the fourth time.
  • “In other words, Augenstein left quite the mark on the Vanderbilt program. From “best player here” to one of Vanderbilt’s best ever.”
  • “As a coach, you dream of being able to coach guys like John Augenstein,” said Limbaugh, who on Monday had to say so long to his superstar.
  • “After four and a half seasons in Nashville, Augenstein announced that he has decided to forego the final semester of his extra year of eligibility and turn professional.”
2. “Chuck tees”
Golfweek’s Todd Kelly with some remarks from Lefty amid his usual pre-Match pot-stirring…”Mickelson will likely have to carry plenty of the weight on Friday. Curry is a talented player, and Manning has shown he can swing the stick a little bit himself. As for Barkley, well, we’ve all seen that swing.
  • “At Stone Canyon, we actually have Chuck tees,” Mickelson said. “They’re a little bit further up.”
  • …”Mickelson then described part of the strategy that he and Barkley plan to deploy later this week.”
  • “If I can hit the green, and let him putt, that’s our strategy on that. Same thing on the drivable par 4s. We saw what happened in Match II where we were really getting beat up pretty good and then Tom and I, on 11, I drive the green and he rolls the putt in for eagle and it just turns the whole match the other way.”
3 Korda sisters land Golf Digest cover
…and Keely Levins landed the Q&A…Good background on the pair which could eventually be written in the history books best golfing sister duo ever.
How do you balance being sisters and competitors?
Nelly: You’re always competing against the golf course, my parents always said.
Jess: People like to put us against each other all the time to see if they can spark a rivalry or something. But we just keep disappointing everybody.
Nelly: We have little side bets here and there. At the end of the day, we want the best for each other, even though we want to beat each other as well. You go into every tournament wanting to win.
4. WMPO organizers cautiously optimistic for 2021
Nick Piecoro for the Arizona Republic…”The annual event at TPC Scottsdale is known for its raucous, jam-packed crowds. It can feel like a tailgate party, rock concert, beer festival and sporting event rolled into one. It is a defining event on the Valley’s social calendar, an excuse even for non-golf fans to head to the course and bask in the sunshine.”
  • “But no one knows what elements of Phoenix Opens past will be visible the first week of February, when the tournament is scheduled to take place.”
  • “For now, organizers expect to go forward with the event. They say it will be scaled down in every respect. Gone will be many of the temporary structures that ran parallel to the course. Organizers hope to have fans, albeit nothing close to the 200,000-plus who typically turn out on Fridays and Saturdays.”
GolfWRX Recommends
One for the Memory Banks is part Final Rounds, part Dewsweepers, part To the Linksland, and part Rick Reilly—and 100% one of the best golf books you’ll ever read! This hilarious and heartfelt travelogue features stories of golf and friendship. If you’ve played golf in the UK, One for the Memory Banks will connect with you on so many levels—if you haven’t, this book will have you calling your travel agent!
Great gift for the holidays!
GolfWRX may earn a commission on sales of “GolfWRX Recommends” products.
5. England’s courses reopen
Elliott Heath for Golf Monthly…”Golf courses in England will be allowed to re-open on 2nd December as the country exits its second lockdown.”
  • “UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson says that the rule of six will once again apply so it looks like fourballs will also be back.”
  • “The country is going back to its Tier system, with each region set to find out on Thursday…More regions will fall into higher tiers than previously, Boris Johnson said.”
6. Course whisperer readying the Ocean Course
The Post and Courier’s Jeff Hartsell…”The man known as the PGA Championship’s “course whisperer,” Kerry Haigh, is keeping an eye on those ever-increasing distances as he prepares the Ocean Course for its next turn on the golf world’s main stage.  The Ocean Course, designed by the late, great Pete Dye, has hosted the famed “War by the Shore” Ryder Cup of 1991 and the 2012 PGA Championship, where McIlroy dusted the field by eight shots.”
  • “But with the PGA moved from August to May on the golf calendar, and with long hitters such as Bryson DeChambeau leading the distance evolution in the game, the Ocean Course will face a new challenge next year. The PGA Championship, set for May 20-23, will be the second major on golf’s 2021 calendar, following The Masters in April.  Haigh, chief championships officer for the PGA of America, is responsible for the operation and course set up for the PGA Championships. He visited the Ocean Course last week to check on preparations. His goal, he said, is to not be the subject of any post-PGA analysis, good or bad.”
7. Pro-Am golf: Reifers captures TaylorMade Pebble Beach Tournament title
John Devine of the Monterey Herald…”Sitting five strokes off the pace after Thursday’s opening round, Reifers inched closer each day before producing the lowest score on Sunday to capture the 49th TaylorMade Pebble Beach Pro-Am Tournament.   Reifers overcame fast and firm conditions at Pebble Beach Golf Course to finish 4-under-par, erasing a one stroke deficit to win the tournament by three strokes over Kirk Triplett, a four-time winner of various tournaments at Pebble Beach.  Finishing a combined 13-under, Reifers used a pair of eagles on the second and third holes at Pebble Beach to grab his first lead of the four-day event, which was played at Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Spanish Bay over the first three days.”
8. h/t Geoff Shackelford: CBS Moneywatch on golf participation
Another item for the “golf is booming” cornucopia…Via Geoff Shackelford…”CBS Moneywatch’s Megan Cerullo doesn’t tell us much we haven’t already read about golf in the pandemic. Still, after years of stories about the decline of the sport’s participation numbers, it’s worth noting pieces like this one, if nothing else to highlight that a resurgence in the game had nothing to do with the opportunity to spend $600 for ten more yards off the tee.”
  • “In August, consumers spent a record $331 million on clubs, balls, gloves and other gear — that was up 32% over the year-ago period and topped the previous sales record for that month in 2006, according to Golf Datatech.”
  • “For the first 10 months of 2020, golf equipment sales were up nearly 30% compared to the same period last year, Matt Powell, an analyst with market research firm NPD Group, told CBS MoneyWatch. Training tools, such as hitting screens, swing aids and putting matts are up 75% as enthusiasts practice their technique away from the golf course.”
9. Streb’s winning WITB
Driver: Titleist TSi2 (10 degrees)
Shaft: Project X EvenFlow RipTide 60 6.5
3-wood: Titleist TS3 (15 degrees, B2 Surefit)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana S+ 80 TX
Hybrid: Titleist TS3 (21 degrees, B2 Surefit)
Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Black Hy 95X
Irons: Titleist TMB (4), Titleist 620CB (5-9)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S300
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (46-10F, 52-08F, 56-08M, 60-04L)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S300
Ball: Titleist Pro V1
Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Prototype
Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet
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GolfWRX Insider: Interview with RSM Classic winner Robert Streb

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This week at the RSM Classic at Sea Island, Robert Streb won in clutch fashion on the second playoff hole with a pitching wedge to within inches from 160 yards. It not only set up his second PGA Tour victory but also his second victory at Sea Island with his first also coming in a playoff against Brendon de Jonge in 2015.

After the win, we had the chance to speak with Robert about that final shot on 18 as well as his clubs, how he goes about testing new equipment, and the most common mistakes he sees from amateur golfers.

RB: To start, I have to ask you about the shot you hit on the second playoff hole to set up the win. It was a pitching wedge from the rough from 160 yards. How were you able to judge the distance so well?

RS: As soon as my caddie and I saw the lie we had a really good feeling it was going to jump a bit, and that’s why I hit my pitching wedge instead of my 9-iron. We don’t always judge it as right as we did on that shot, but the big key was to make a confident swing and trust that we made the right decision— it obviously worked out for the best.

RB: If we take a deeper look at the club you hit for that shot in the playoff, you use a pitching wedge that matches your wedges rather than one that matches your irons (Vokey Design SM8 46 degree) is there a specific reason you choose to use that club vs a set matching pitching wedge?

RS: For a long time I used the pitching wedge from my iron set, but for me being a self-described feel player I like using the Vokey 46 degree because I feel I have a bit more control on half shots because of the groove technology and the overall profile of the club. When the SM8’s hit the tour I asked Dill (Titleist wedge tech Aaron Dill) about getting set up with that, and it pretty much went right into the bag. I also really like using it around the green.

RB: Sticking to new equipment, you also recently put the Titleist TSi2 driver into play. What do you like about that club versus your previous driver, and what was your process for putting that club into play?

RS: I know I mentioned this already, but I really am a feel player when it comes to my clubs, and everything has to fit my eye. The TSi2 is really appealing since I’m a guy that plays a draw and the shape of the toe is extremely appealing at address behind the ball. I did a lot of hitting it on the range before ever getting on Trackman, because I want to know that I really love it before dialing it in.

The other thing I really like is the ability to hit it a bit higher and see a flight that I really like without having it ever feel out of control. Since I like to play a draw, I like that it helps my misses stay in the air longer and go straighter—like any golfer, I like knowing that my misses are going to be better when I switch to something new.

RB: We’ve talked wedges, and we’ve talked the driver, so now let’s talk everything in between and how you like to gap your set. You previously used a 2-iron as the next club after your 3-wood and now you go from a 3-wood to a 21-degree  hybrid and then a 4-iron. What are your main goals when gapping your set?”

RS: Over time I realized that I would make more birdies and save more shots using a gap wedge over a 2-iron, so I finally made the decision to take that out of the bag and play a full four-wedge setup (46/52/56/60) and use the hybrid. I used to have to work really hard at managing my distance gapping since there was almost a 20-yard gap in the short end of my bag, but now I don’t ever have to worry about that.

At the top end of my bag, the hybrid is really versatile and I always find I get more control with a shorter club with a bit more loft vs a 5-wood, so I’ve stuck with it since I really like the iron feel I get out of that club.

From there, my 4-iron (Titleist TMB) really plays like a 3 1/2 iron—I feel confident getting a few extra yards out of it when needed because it’s hollow, while still offering the ability to hit softer shots with it, which is whys its a club I don’t mess around with.

RB: Being a player at your level, you understand how to get around a golf course and minimize mistakes. If there was one piece of advice you could offer to golfers trying to break their next scoring barrier what would it be?

RS: The biggest mistakes I see golfers make is not playing within themselves and hitting shots they aren’t truly comfortable with. This could mean a shot around the green and trying to get too aggressive, or not pulling the right club on approach shots. When I play in pro-ams, the vast majority of golfers miss short and don’t take enough club—they hit the club they think should get there rather than the one that will, and over the course of a round of golf those missed shots add up.

Being able to take your medicine when you put yourself in a bad spot can be the difference between a bogey and a triple and a hole like that can mean the difference between making a cut, or in the case of many golfers, not getting to that next scoring barrier.

Check out Streb’s full WITB: Robert Streb’s RSM Classic winning WITB

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The DailyWRX (11/23/2020): Do not enter if…

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Don’t do it….

 

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My God…..

 

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“Bad Little 9″……..

 

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It’s an honest question…

True Legend spotted in the wild…

DM @johnny_wunder

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